Arsenal have finally stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy and he will not be considered for Wednesday’s match against West Ham.
The Gabonese was axed from the squad that recorded a 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday after reporting back for club duty late from an approved trip abroad last week.
Coach Mikel Arteta has now made a ruthless decision to take the armband off the star striker, who had actually traveled back to France last week to visit his mother, who has been unwell.
Arsenal said in a statement on Tuesday: ‘Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United.
‘We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.’
The now-former Arsenal captain was given permission to go abroad last Wednesday morning to go collect his sick mum and bring her back to England.
He even took to Instagram last week thanking fans for offering support. He wrote: ‘My mother is going through some health issues and I had to be there for her.
‘She’s already much better now… I’m more than grateful to the doctors and nurses helping her get through this.’
However, it had been agreed that Aubameyang would return later that evening to ensure he would be ready to train on Thursday. But he reportedly flew home on Thursday morning instead and current Covid testing protocols also meant that he was unable to return to training until he had produced a negative PCR test.
Aubameyang was given the club captaincy under Arteta’s predecessor, Unai Emery, and is on a £350,000-a-week contract that runs until 2023.
Aubameyang’s agent, Kwaku Mensah, responded to the news by posting pictures of the striker holding trophies from his time as an Arsenal player.